FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Jets have created plenty of big headlines this offseason, but the news hasn't always been so good. Over the past year alone, four Jets players have been arrested a total of six times, three for driving while intoxicated. That's a terrible look for the Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles regime.
But it's not a sign that their disciplinary process is faulty -- at least not according to Bowles. In fact, the Jets coach insisted on Tuesday that despite the rash of arrests, "Our disciplinary process is fine."
"There's nothing wrong with the disciplinary process," Bowles said. "The arrests are going to happen and you deal with them as they come."
The latest one came over the weekend when rookie tight end Chris Herndon, the Jets' fourth-round pick out of Miami, was arrested for DWI after he crashed his SUV into one driven by a 76-year-old man on Interstate 80 at 4:45 a.m., according to police. He joined second-year pro Dylan Donahue, who was arrested for DWI in February after he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel and rammed into a jitney bus, according to the police report.
That was Donahue's second DWI arrest in a year. Jets receiver Robby Anderson has also been arrested twice on an array of charges (though one case has been dismissed) and so has cornerback Rashard Robinson, for marijuana possession back in December.
It's a concern for Bowles, no doubt, but he's not sure a change in policy by him is going to be enough to stop it.
"We can have a different policy," Bowles said. "I'm not going to say never. Things change accordingly. But there's nothing wrong with our policy right now. If you sign a contract and you're making 10, 20, 30 million dollars, if that doesn't stop you, what else is going to stop you?"
Bowles insisted that he has spoken to his team on a regular basis about proper behavior and discipline issues. But he said some things -- such as DWIs -- are going to happen when you're dealing with a large group of young adults.
"We can't monitor them 24-7," Bowles said. "All you can do is try to teach them the right way like you do your kids. They're going to mess up. You can't just say it's certain guys. Everybody in this world has children that they want to do the right thing. It doesn't happen. When they do something wrong you try to fix it, but you don't throw them by the wayside."
Bowles also insisted that arrests -- particularly DUIs -- are "not a Jet problem or a league problem. It's a nationwide problem. Things happen in your 20s and you treat them on an individual basis and you move on.
"That doesn't make it OK," he added. "I'm not here to say I approve of it, because I don't. Is it a problem? Yes. But to lay all this on Chris (Herndon)? No, we're not going to lay all of it on him. He's got to take responsibility."
But how much responsibility do the Jets have to take, either for bringing in troubled players or for not disciplining them enough? That's a harder question to answer. Bowles pointed out that Herndon didn't come to the Jets with any issues. "He had not had a problem," Bowles said. "He does not have a glitch in his evaluation or anything."
Herndon also likely knew that driving drunk was a bad -- and criminal -- idea. And yet it happened anyway. Sometimes, as Bowles said, no amount of warning and no amount of discipline can prevent something like that from occurring.
"You can discipline them, you can suspend them," Bowles said. "If a person is going to drink -- I've realized that in life -- they're going to drink. You try to discipline them and then you go accordingly. All of us sitting in here have made a mistake in life. I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm without sin. So we go on from there."